By Taha Sakr
The Saudi Minister of Transport, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, said that Saudi Arabia intends to launch transport projects in partnership between the public and private sectors, next year, worth tens of billions of dollars.
Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser told Reuters on Thursday that Saudi Arabia has an impressive infrastructure in transport and logistics that has invested about 400 billion riyals (106.7 billion dollars) in only the past ten years, adding that the plan is to continue with increasing participation of private sector.
The minister stated that the new projects will include the expansion of Riyadh airport and five other local airports. The Ministry is also planning to establish railway project linking Dammam in the eastern region and the Red Sea city of Jeddah via the capital.
Al-Jasser said that the ministry is in talks with a company owned by the Chinese government on this project without disclosing the name of the company.
He stated that the financing will come from the private sector, whether through a public-private partnership or between governments.
Saudi Arabia has set a target for non-oil government revenues between 35 and 40 billion riyals (10 billion dollars) through its privatization program by 2020, and some revenue will come from the sale of assets, while the rest will be from partnerships between the public and private sectors.
The Saudi government expects the real economy to grow 2.3 percent next year with support from the non-oil sectors.